Volunteers receive thanks during ceremony
June 10, 2013
By Julie Lucas
VICENZA, Italy -- Volunteers from all over Caserma Ederle came to the Golden Lion May 29 for the annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, which was decorated in a circus theme for this year's theme of "Volunteers Strengthening a Nation."
As the volunteers checked in, they were given a jump rope as a thank-you gift as well a certificate. The bouquets on tables had moustaches and a popcorn machine had been set up.
After a welcome and prayer by Maj. Daniel Wilson, the volunteers were treated to a lunch. Free child care had also been previously arranged.
Following the lunch, U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza Commander, Col. David Buckingham, asked the audience to envision what the post would be like without volunteers and ran through a list of places and people.
"Without (volunteers), this isn't a place I'd want to live," Buckingham said.
A slide show was shown with photos of various volunteers and videos thanking volunteers around the community. Individuals throughout the community were nominated by organizations for their contributions and were recognized with certificates.
The 19 nominees performed work at a variety of organizations including Family Readiness Groups, Boy Scouts, American Red Cross, USO, VCC and many more. A program was on every table outlining why each individual was nominated and their contributions.
"I was surprised and honored to be recognized," said Jenny Johnson, who was nominated by the Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) Family Readiness Group.
Four youth were recognized as outstanding community volunteers. The nominees were Tara Clinton from Soldiers' Theatre, Jaret Cobbeldick with Army Community Service Sponsorship Program, Rima Gasparini from Mako Sharks swim team and Kiki Sibilla with the ACS Relocation Readiness Program.
The last group of nominees included four families from within the community who stand out with their contributions. The families were the Dayaprema family, the Kitson family, the Sibilla family and the Sterling family.
Finally, a check was presented to Buckingham from Allie Vallery, ACS Army Volunteer Corps Program manager, which totaled the amount of money saved in the community thanks to volunteers. The huge check was made for $1.4 million dollars, which represented the 64,000 hours of recorded volunteer time in the Vicenza community.
"For a small community we have an incredible volunteer support base," Vallery said. "The Volunteer Recognition Luncheon is just a small way we can thank all our amazing volunteers for the work they do in the community."
If you would like to find out about volunteer opportunities within the community, contact Vallery at 0444-71-7942 or stop in to see her in Davis Hall.